For the third week in a row I end up posting on Monday instead of Sunday. The slow slide…

I will aim to be back on track with the Sunday posts, I promise.

 

For the most part, this challenge to not spend needlessly has started to feel more natural. Perhaps it is because I have found a balance, finally, between complete austerity and over indulgence. I know I am doing well when I feel neither deprived nor guilty.

This week I thought I did rather well. The cure of having focused on de-cluttering stuck with me for well over half the week. I focused on getting the kids out doing things and on me making sure I was meeting up with mama’s with whom I could happily shoot the shit – essential for a happy emotional state. I’ve also been hitting the Dailey Method studio three times a week; and though it costs me, it is an investment I (if not my hubby) am happy to make. I am getting super strong, healing my diastasis recti, and gaining energy from it to help me though my busy child centered days. It’s also an added bonus that some of the physical changes are visible, which is very encouraging!

And I would have gotten through this week with nary a spending temptation, had it not been for a brief conversation with my hubby in which I told him my mom was sending me my puffy down vest and coat back to me (I forgot both back in Canada this past visit) and he said “Oh, we need to get you a good puffy. That one doesn’t fit right”.

Uh oh. A hubby sanctioned purchase?! And I am sorry, but my husband’s opinion on how I dress has always affected me. His appraisal of my ill-fitting puffy coat was a death-blow to my resolve. I know that sounds horrible, but, in the past too, if I wore an outfit I really liked and I got “the eyebrow” from the hubs, no matter how I tried to re-frame it in my head, that outfit would start to be worn less and less. Perhaps this is a blow to feminists everywhere. It certainly sounds terrible that I let someone else’s opinion on how I dress affect me. I have struggled to not care. But ultimately, folks, he is my husband. He is the one person in all the world whom I want to have look at me and still say “dang, you look good!” ( I am laughing inside, because I am pretty sure my hub’s internal dialogue has never included the word ‘dang!’). And truth be told, if anyone else were to tell me they didn’t like what I was wearing or how I looked, I would have no problem telling them where they could go.

So…with an essential blessing, and even a helping hand in finding a few sites to check out sale puffys (yes, he directed me to steep and cheap and REI Garage), I was thrown headlong into temptation central. At first I entered with caution, opening up one tab, scrolling briefly through a few options, then closing my computer. How could I buy such a big item (well over $100 on average) online? How would I know how it fit?

I was able to walk away from the idea thinking that I should go into a physical store and try out some of the big brands, like Patagonia and Marmot, before seriously looking online. Knowing how challenging it is to get to any store, let alone a store to shop for something for me with the kids in tow, I felt pretty confident this would be the block I needed to stall this venture. Then my crafty other self remembered that my sister-in-law wears these brands, and I asked to try them on when I was at her house. Oops. Now I knew exactly how they fit.

See how that works?

So now, armed with the valuable sizing info, the mystery of the online shop was not quite so mysterious, not quite so risky provided I stick with the known brands. I even have the hubs telling me I should get a Marmot because his has been great and they usual deep discount them at some point. Gaw. No help at all. And have you checked out steep and cheap? They know the ropes! The pressure of the quick, and often too hasty, decision. Deals go up on the page with a 5 minute count down. The sense of urgency grips your body as you try to research the product; is it truly cheap? Is it good quality? Do I need it? 5 minutes is not enough time to answer those questions.

I shut my computer and walked away for the day. But I kept the tabs open.

I even took a peek via my smart phone.

Finally, Sunday, I opened my computer back up. It had been a cold day. I was shivering. My mind was going to the camping trip we are going on in two weeks. I thought, well, I could just wear my old puffy, to heck with fit…but then the hubs will say something maybe…or I’ll know he’s thinking it. I bet a new puffy would have better fill…It would feel so good to be cozy…

Folks, I tried SO hard. I resisted and resisted but that nagging temptation monster kept rearing its head.

I even told myself that, because we had gone on a date night that I initiated, that money for the puffy was now gone, gone, gone. Too bad, so sad, wasn’t that date night worth it? Yet still, on Sunday night, I selected a blue Marmot down coat, 35% off on REI Garage, and I clicked that buy button.

My only possible reprieve is that REI has a 100% money back guarantee…precisely one of the reasons I bought it from there. But I was weak, so very weak.

And perhaps that is why I didn’t post last night, because I was too busy with the shell shock of having failed so miserably. I was in the grips of a battle; and I lost.

I’m trying to figure out what this means. I am part of a consumer culture. I am fully immersed in it. I am definitely not impervious to it. If I somehow manage to walk away from spending, I seem to inevitably return.

On a deeper level, what does this indicate? Why does the thought of something new make me feel like I’m receiving a reward; and choosing to use the old feels like, well, like impoverishment or lack. It sounds absolutely ludicrous. Especially when all I have to do is look up from this screen and see the wealth of things I posses. My generation (this is a generalization) has no idea what true need is. We are surrounded by stuff and yet we want more.

Yes, the ultimate dream for me is to have a home full of only the items I use on a regular basis, with a home for each and every item. In my closet, only the highest quality and/or most loved items I choose to wear on a regular basis. I could say that this puffy is an investment piece, because, truly, the other puffy is dead to me…but am I fooling myself? Is this just a clever trick my mind plays to justify? Because it can go both ways, it could be that I am just helping to fulfill the goal of only possessing things I truly love…or it could end up being yet another item that fills the temporary void.

Time will tell. I am hoping that, this being week 22 ( 30 more to go!) I am better equipped to figure out what is a necessary/good purchase. It ain’t over yet, I can still return it…or, at least, that’s what I am telling myself…

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